TITLE:CONGRESSIONAL REPORT, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 19 (11/19/93)
CONGRESSIONAL REPORT, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 19
SOME SENATORS ASSAIL HALPERIN NOMINATION
Some members of the Senate Armed Services Committee November 19 severely
criticized President Clinton's nomination of Morton Halperin to be
assistant secretary of defense for democracy and peacekeeping, alleging
that some of the nominee's opinions are not in the interest of U.S.
During his confirmation hearing before the committee, Halperin asserted that
"force will still be the ultimate arbiter of international disputes," while
cautioning that "we must be sure that the problem (at stake) can be solved
by armed force."
"We must size and equip our forces to fight such wars," he said, explaining
however that his task would be to "guard against the tendency to see our
armed forces as a solution to every problem and every crisis of the
post-Cold War era."
Senator David Boren, who is not a member of the committee, attended the
hearing to voice strong support for Halperin, who he said is motivated by
devotion to "human rights and individual liberty." Two other Democrats,
Senators Daniel Moynihan and Joseph Biden, also have expressed support for
But Republican panel members criticized Halperin's past writings, accusing
him of fostering opinions that would not make him a good caretaker of
national security. Senator John McCain read quotations from Halperin's
writings, including assertions that the former Soviet Union never violated
1nternational law in its relations with African countries, that covert
intelligence operations are always illegal and anti-democratic, and that
the international community should determine whether or not the United
States can defend an ally.
Senator Strom Thurmond accused the Clinton administration of failing to
provide proper and complete answers to Senate questions about Halperin.
"In the case of Mr. Halperin there is a compelling prima facie case that he
is unsuited for any position in the Pentagon," Thurmond declared.
"I have deep concerns about his positions on security policy," said
Thurmond. "Some of the recommendations he has given to the secretary of
defense" while employed at the Pentagon "are dangerous to the nation's
interests and to the lives of American servicemen and women."
Halperin's statements during the Cold War "suggest that the U.S. government,
not the Soviet empire, was the enemy of peace and freedom," said Thurmond.
The committee is expected to vote on the Halperin nomination next week.
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